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Attorney General Sessions defends reply on Russia contacts

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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday defended his conduct at a January confirmation hearing where he denied having contacts with Russian officials during the course of the presidential campaign when he was an adviser to Donald Trump.

“My answer was correct,” Sessions, who last week said he would stay out of any probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, wrote in a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley.

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Sessions repeated that he spoke to Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July, and again at his Senate office in Washington in September.

At a news conference on Thursday, Sessions said he should have said during the confirmation hearing that he had met with the ambassador in his role as a senator. The Washington Post first disclosed the meetings on Wednesday.

Many Democrats, who are pushing for a broad probe of ties between Trump campaign associates and Russian operatives, have called for Sessions to resign. Sessions, then a U.S. senator from Alabama, was a high-ranking player in Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Sessions’ denial of contacts with Russians had come in response to a question by Democratic Senator Al Franken about what he would do if reports of contacts between Trump associates and Russians were true.

“I did not mention communications I had had with the Russian Ambassador over the years because the question did not ask about them,” Session wrote in the letter to Grassley, which he said was meant to supplement his January testimony.

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Sessions said his recusal would apply not just to any alleged Russian contact with the Trump campaign, but also with the Trump transition team and administration.

“This should not be taken as any evidence of the existence of any such investigation or its scope,” he added.

The Republican president has backed his attorney general and accused Democrats of blowing the issue out of proportion for political purposes.

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U.S. intelligence agencies concluded last year that Russia hacked and leaked Democratic emails during the election campaign as part of an effort to tilt the vote in Trump’s favor. Russia has denied the allegations.

(Reporting by Washington Newsroom; Editing by Andrew Hay)

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Trump and Giuliani had ties to mobsters portrayed in ‘The Irishman’

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Both President Donald Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani have ties to the mobsters depicted in Martin Scorsese’s new film, "The Irishman."

The film is based on the 2003 book I Heard You Paint Houses: Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran & Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa, by Charles Brandt, who paints a portrait of corrupt union bosses and hitmen who had business ties to Trump decades ago, reported Rolling Stone.

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This poisonous mindset convinced Republicans that anything is justifiable

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On Thursday, Nancy Pelosi said she asked the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee to draw up articles of impeachment. Her announcement was historic, decisive and fierce due to three simple and overlooked words: once again and enemies.

This article was originally published at The Editorial Board

In using “once again,” the speaker of the House signaled that the House Democrats are prepared to expand the scope of the indictment against Donald Trump to include his complicity in the 2016 assault by Russia on the sovereignty of the American people as well as his enlisting of another foreign leader to undermine the integrity of 2020.

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Nikki Haley busted by Civil War historian after claiming the Confederate flag was once a symbol of ‘heritage’

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Former South Carolina Governor and Trump United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley on Friday stirred controversy when she claimed that the Confederate flag was once a noble symbol that only lost legitimacy once it was "hijacked" by a mass murderer.

During an interview with talk show host Glenn Beck, Haley described how she reacted after white supremacist Dylann Roof murdered nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

"Here is this guy who comes out with this manifesto, holding the Confederate flag," she said, referring to Roof. "And [he] had just hijacked everything that people thought of. We don't have hateful people in South Carolina -- there's always the small minority, that's always going to be there -- but people saw it as service and sacrifice and heritage, but once he did that, there was no way to overcome it."

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